Evergreen Content: Expired dates diminish site credibility.

WordPress Mobile Speed

Updated: November 2019


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There are times when date stamping your website or it’s content can be good – or bad. Say, you wrote an article five years ago and it’s still relevant today. You may prefer to not reveal the original publication date. A date would skew audience perception that the material is irrelevant or stale. Even when it isn’t.

Evergreen content is relevant long past its publication and stays fresh for readers. It has no expiration date or shelf-life. It retains long-term value. It can be reused and adapted. Informational articles and How-To’s are usually considered Evergreen.

expiredA lightweight plugin alternative is installing WP Old Post Date Remover. This free WordPress plugin removes or hides the date of a post or page. We prefer our articles appear timeless – as in classic. We don’t want to look stale or erratic in our posting schedule – even when we are! If visitor’s see a decrepit post or copyright date, they can think the site is abandoned. Expired dates diminish site credibility.

We also like fast-loading: WP Author, Date and Meta Remover, Active Installs: 40,000+, 4.1k download size.

And another heavier plugin: WP Meta and Date Remover, Active Installs: 60,000+, 932k download size.

Note: If you’re using GeneratePress theme, the ability to remove author and date is built-in.

How to add a computer copyright date stamp.
Jonradio Current Year and Copyright Shortcodes is a perpetual copyright plugin for WordPress. It provides shortcodes to display the Current Year and/or a Copyright symbol. One shortcode inserts the © Copyright symbol, a blank and the current year. Place this plugin’s shortcode almost anywhere. We used a footer text widget.  You’ll always appear fresh and up to date.

Just make the page feel “fresher.”
One more plugin trick to consider, is “Date and Time Widget.” This is a simple lightweight plugin (9k compressed download) that can put a date (and/or time) in your sidebar or footer. The date is derived from the internal computer clock of the user’s browser computer. This old trick makes the page look “fresher” as if it was just updated and hasn’t expired.

The Date and Time Widget plugin has the choice of formats for both date and time. And you can customize the font, font size, text color and background color.

To write comprehensive, in-depth evergreen content, it should be at least 2,000 words long. When crawlers crawl the page, they view it as highly topical, when covering the content title well.

We frequently update our articles. We then want  a fresh publication date. When making changes – if you just press the publish button – it won’t alter the publication date. You then must manually enter a date.

Ah, there’s a plugin helper to insert today’s date and time for you. That helps  keep posts “evergreen.”

★★★★★
Date/Time Now Button
Active installs:
2,000+
Zip download size:
29k

Date/Time Now Button is an older plugin but still works fine. Here’s how:

First: Click on the Edit text link.

 

A little “Now” text button then appears.

 

Click it and the new date is then loaded. Then press the “Update” button and it replaces the old date.

Two other handy plugins auto-increases text years and numbers for evergreen content:

Magic Dates
Active installs: 200+
Zip file size: 1.7k
All-time downloads: 1,477
Retention rate: 13.5 percent (low)

and

Years Since
Active installs: 10+
Zip file size: 2.5k
All-time downloads: 72
Retention rate: 13.8 percent (low)

A few other plugin tricks while working on the backend when you have a lot of posts:

Admin Post Navigation

And

Search Exclude
We use to this plugin to exclude some content from onsite search. It may be password protected posts – or something like testimonials and quotations. The plugin keeps these from appearing in blogroll search results. Nice.


DEMONSTRATION VIDEO
No audio

https://youtu.be/9ejXX9K6Wzw

Updating publication date improves clickthru from Google listings. Users click on recent Google results. A published date from 2013 appears stale. One from a couple of months or days ago seems fresh.

Change Last Modified Date
https://wordpress.org/plugins/change-last-modified-date/

Bulk Post Update Date
https://wordpress.org/plugins/bulk-post-update-date/

Post Date Time Change
https://wordpress.org/plugins/post-date-time-change/

Why would anyone want to use a plugin to add a signature to the bottom of a post? It’s marketing communications touchy-feely stuff. The logical explanation isn’t that easy and not everyone “gets it.”

No one really explains the cosmic reason why signatures are “good” practice. So explaining from a marketing standpoint could be better. It seems so obvious to signature-plugin authors that they forget not everyone can see a benefit to an automatic signature.

It’s always been our recommendation for clients to add a personal signature on About pages — or what we sometimes label as Interview pages. The client always asks, “How come?”

These special pages with signatures (for us anyway) are in a FAQ format. For some reason, search engines think these are important pages. It could be the keyword “interview.”

Anyway, a signature (even a fake one – like a calligraphic script font) in blue ink on white background has a “feeling.” (Blue seems more pen like than black – again silly human memory stuff). It’s more intimate and experiential. It’s marketing voodoo. People consciously know you didn’t sign the screen – but they have a feeling of connectedness. They secretly wish you did sign each post.

Like a personal letter from a family member or friend, it’s subconscious psychological weirdness triggered by a scrawl onscreen. But it works. It’s endearing. It seems friendly. Perhaps because it appears handcrafted instead of by machine.

It definitely has to do with memories. Just like color combinations do. Or the smell of crayons. Or old songs on the radio. Why do those take us back in time? And make us smile or cry?

We could see creating a blog where we wanted that personal feeling on every page. Then we’d want a plugin so we didn’t always have to repeatedly place an image file at the end of each post.

Each post would then become a personal message to the reader (like a personality).

Above is an “interview” page we designed for a photographer. His signature is essentially his logotype and part of his branding. It’s at the top of the scrolled text. But most frequently, we put them at the page bottom. Here the signature almost serves as a caption for his photo.

His signature is quite distinctive. We humans can tell the difference in those small quirky details in a persons handwriting. We actual recognize the patterns and can say, “This note is from my cousin Bill. I’d recognize his sloppy handwriting anywhere.”

There are several ways to solve this automated signature problem. But not worth it if it adds one second to the load time. We didn’t do any speed tests.

We did a search on “Why put a personal signature on your WordPress blog?” and got a listing of various plugins and how to edit functions.php files that do this stuff. But no one explained why post signatures are a good idea.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-post-signature/
156k download, Requires: 3.0 or higher, Compatible up to: 4.1.11, Last Updated: 1 year ago, Active Installs: 3,000+
Comments:
The screenshot of the controls looked overwhelming. It wasn’t clear if an image file is included or if it’s just text.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/sxss-signature/
179k download, Requires: 2.5 or higher, Compatible up to: 4.4.3, Last Updated: 3 months ago, Active Installs: 800+
Comments:
Has integration of TinyMCE. This allows the addition of copyright, links, images, or ads at the bottom of pages or posts.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/danixland-author-signature/
41k, Requires: 4.0 or higher, Compatible up to: 4.5.2, Last Updated: 2 months ago, Active Installs: 20+
Comments:
This plugin is brand new for 2016. The author said, “All I wanted was to be able to select an image for my user, and set the alignment and size for the displayed image inside the blog post.” He felt the other plugin offerings were too bloated. We agree. To add your signature image, go to your profile page in the WordPress dashboard and, at the bottom, you’ll find a new section for selecting an image using the standard WordPress media upload screen.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/ft-signature-manager/
4k, Requires: 2.5 or higherCompatible up to: 3.5.2, Last Updated: 3 years ago, Active Installs: 1,000+
Comment:
Appears old, abandoned and suspicious of calling offsite resource. It’s too small of file size. Did you ever think you’d hear us say that?) Too scary to use.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/dt-author-box/
69k, Requires: 3.1.2 or higher, Compatible up to: 3.6.1, Last Updated: 3 years ago, Active Installs: 1,000+
Comments:
From the WordPress plugins site: “for those who have multiple authors on a WordPress site and want to show author information at the bottom of every post for each author like a signature. This can include an image, a short bio, a link to the author’s website and their social profiles.” This is overkill for us.

Based on this quick information, the plugin to use seemed pretty obvious: Danix Author Signature. It was fast and easy and didn’t add any drag to our page loads.

author-signature-header
https://wordpress.org/plugins/danixland-author-signature/

 

Godspeed-

Steve Teare
performance engineer

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